Just about a month ago when I decided to do this challenge, I was excited. I knew I was pretty active, so it didn’t seem very hard. I was confident it would fit nicely into my lifestyle. I mean, 30 minutes a day is really not that much. I made a work out plan, set some goals and got to work. The one thing I didn’t necessarily plan for was life.
The first week was really easy. I was pumped and excited to get in my 30 minutes, so it wasn’t hard at all. I was taking my dog on long walks, going for morning runs and fitting in two workouts a day. I was on fire. By the second week, things started to normalize. Life got busier, and while I was still getting in my 30 minutes every day, it was harder to fit it in. After work, I was too tired to go on a long walk. And before work I would rather sleep. And it has been so hot outside I didn’t really want to go out on my lunch break either. It took a lot of willpower to push through.
The last two weeks were much the same. It doesn’t really seem like a lot, but you really have to make the commitment to get those 30 minutes in a day. But when I do, which I haven’t missed a day yet, I feel so much better. I have more energy, my mood is improved, I make better choices throughout the day, and I just feel better about myself. This is what has kept me going through the times when I just don’t want to do it. I remind myself that I wont regret it if I just do it.
Reflecting on the last four weeks, I have learned more than I expected to from this challenge. I learned that I am not as active as I thought I was. I work out 4-6 times a week for at least an hour. But the rest of the time, I am pretty stagnant. I work at a desk, so I don’t move a lot for my job. Even though it is better than nothing, working out for an hour a day doesn’t make up for sitting for 9 hours straight, not to mention the 5 I sit after I get home after work. I have tried to implement habits like standing up and stretching at the top of every hour, and getting off the couch during commercial breaks. Although it doesn’t seem like much, keeping your blood flowing can do great things for your body.
I also learned that I make a lot of excuses. I don’t think it’s just me, but when I wake up, I try to convince myself to stay in bed rather than work out. Or if I skipped my morning workout, I run through a laundry list of reasons why I can’t work out that night. I have to be stronger than my excuses to get out the door some days.
All in all, I am so glad I took the challenge, and so proud that I completed it. It taught me to make daily activity a priority, and it taught me a lot about my current habits and how to change them. I absolutely plan on continuing this momentum with at least 30 minutes of activity a day for the next month. Who knows, I might make it to the end of the year! This challenge was the kick start I needed and I am not stopping now.